Posted at: 04/10/2013 12:16 PM
Updated at: 04/10/2013 5:49 PM
By: Mark Mulholland
BALLSTON SPA - At 75, when most people are enjoying their retirement, Jim Bowen still goes to work every day.
But the Saratoga County Sheriff says the time has come to step aside and leave the department where he first started as a deputy in 1965.
Bowen told NewsChannel 13 Wednesday that the decision to retire was a difficult one that he'd contemplated with his wife for several months. "Yes, it is. You have good feelings and you have bad. It's sad, but at the same token, I've had a good ride," said Bowen.
Bowen says he's in perfect health and still loves the work, but it's time to leave the job that he's held since 1972, when he was first appointed.
"I'm looking forward to relaxing. [But the job is] 24-hours, seven days a week and I enjoy it. I've had a good time."
The sheriff says he'll spend more time with his family, especially his six grandchildren. And he's confident that he leaves the office in great shape.
Names of successors for the county's long-time top cop began to surface immediately, including his undersheriff, Mike Woodcock.
But Woodcock said Wednesday he preferred to talk about his boss's legacy.
"I think it will stand on its own," said Woodcock. "He came into office with a vision for Saratoga County, for a law enforcement agency in Saratoga County and he did an exemplary job in building that from a small 5-man department into what it is today."
Sheriff Bowen will complete his 11th term before retiring at the end of the year.